Category Archives: Recovery

Marathon Training Update & Nike+

Early mornings can suck sometimes. Especially when you have to run on a holiday. 

But then you come across a view like the photo above and it’s all worth it. Very few others saw this site. All of time waited for me to witness this. 

My Nike+ training plan gave me a relatively light week last week but is stepping it up this week. 

I had several speed runs last week which I still find tough to get motivated for even though only last for half an hour at the most. 

I had two speed workouts; one that was 12×200 and another that was 8×400. All with short recovery times because the mornings were chilly. 

The Nike+ Running Club app on my phone has now broken one of the nice new features! It no longer repeats the info from the phone on your Apple watch. Twice this week it crashed on the watch but kept running on the phone. In fact, it never really started up properly. 

I had to delay my Friday long run as we decided to have a family breakfast and I couldn’t run after that! So I ended up going out on Sunday morning for a 12.75 miler in the temperate weather that hit this weekend. 50F is rather surprising for February. 

Later that day, Nike+ asked me to update my run programme and when it did this it put down a 12.5 mile run for Monday too. What a cow! I think “Nicki” (my name for the voice of the Nike+ app) has got it in for me. 😦

This week is going to be tough with the 12.5 miler today, a benchmark run, a 6 mile recovery run and then an 18.5 miler on Friday. 

I’m going to have to increase my food intake as I’m starting to feel like my legs are very heavy and underpowered. 


Taking A Day Off

After running an unofficial marathon last weekend and hen not letting up all week (I put on 48 miles total), I decided to take a day off today. 

I had a lazy Sunday breakfast of homemade pancakes with my wife and kids. Chased the kids around the house a few times. And chilled in the afternoon.  

Sometimes you have to allow yourself down time. A couple of days off won’t hurt and tomorrow morning I will be running again… Watch out, Ed, it will probably be a fast morning run! 

Daylight’s Precious Hours

This weekend the clocks change. Spring forward and lend the evenings some light.

However, that is stealing the light from my morning runs. It has been so nice running these last few weeks without having to use a torch (Brit.). (In America they think a torch is something you’d carry to burn a village, or for the olympics).

This morning I finally got my Brooks Glycerine shoes over their four hundred mile mark so I went out and bought some new shoes. My massage therapist had noticed that I was having some foot stress and suggested slightly higher bridge support. When I took my last pair with me to the shop they said I was pronating ever so slightly but that a different shoe (less neutral) might help.

All this means that I’m now the proud owner of a pair of Brooks Ravenna 7 shoes.  

   These shots show the wear on my old Glycerine 12s. Note the slight wear on the outside of the heal area, but other than that era even. This is a good thing. Some people might be tempted to continue running with the tread in such a good state but I know from past experience that it is best for me to move on at 400 miles.
The new Ravenna 7s look like this.  

 I’m not sure about the whole “Carpe Runem” tag inside the shoes though. That seems a bit naff. 

Recovery Time

After my long run on Sunday I spent Monday recovering. 

My morning run on Monday was quite gentle but I did introduce my friend to fartleks. His performance has recovered suitably from his time off and I thought that adding these might be a nice challenge. 

The route we run has large pylons along the side of the trail that make for good markers for the fartleks. 

After giving some warning about it I was happy that he accepted the challenge. At the next pylon we upped our pace a little. Not too much, but enough to make it more difficult. We ran to the next pylon which is quite a distance; perhaps 1/8 mile. As I said, the pylons are huge.

We did three of these through the run. Consequently we got our overall time for the route back under an hour. It is good to try something different every so often. 

We saw our friendly Skunk again as we entered Norristown. He didn’t seem to care about us. 

During Monday I over indulged somewhat as I had a team lunch and then dinner with a friend in the evening. This blew me through my calorie limit for the day but I knew that I was well down on the previous one so I wasn’t too bothered. 

On Tuesday I cycled to work for the first time in ages. It felt great to get the bike back out on the road even for that short distance. It is going to take some time for my butt to readjust to the saddle again. 

This morning (Wednesday) I ran an early six miler so that my wife could get out after me. I nearly lost my hat three times as there were powerful gusts of wind on my way out. Fortunately it was behind me for the return trip. 

All in all, the week is going well. 

Tonight I go to see my trigger point therapist for a deep sports massage. It will be painful but good…

Recovery? From What?

The human body is a strange thing. I ran 26.2 miles on Saturday and come Sunday all I felt was a slight tiredness in my knees. No thigh aches. No soreness. Nothing. 

It is a very odd feeling. I did run it far slower (30 mins) than the marathon at the start of December but I sill expected some aches and pains. 

On Monday I joined my friend for our last run-walk-run interval session of the year. We stuck to our previous 5 mins run and 2 mins walk intervals, keeping them pretty well as per the plan. 

Next week we will move to the next interval level using six minute runs and two minute walks. 

My friend had some new tech this week: shoe lights. They were an xmas present from his family. It is great to see them embracing his new healthy lifestyle. 

These rechargeable lights strap into your laces and give out about 150 lumens. They worked quite well but are probably best suited to running on a Tarmac or paved trail. I say this because they are so low to the ground that uneven surfaces can lead to you not being able to see very far down the path. At some points we could tell if we were about to run into puddles or if it was just a shadow cast by the ground. 

They do light up items on the ground really well so it is unlikely you’ll trip over branches but I’d be worried about using them solely (pun intended) on a run. 

They do make you visible and would certainly catch the attention of drivers. Here’s a pic of my friend running off into the woods wearing them.  On my phone the picture is animated but I don’t think WordPress supports that yet. 

One of my xmas gifts was a new bag for cycling to work. A Timbuk2 bag. It was raining today so I thought I’d test it out. The bag has many compartments and has a folding section for packing clothes for work. This bag is much larger than my previous one that was an emptied camelbak water holder. I’ll comment more on this after I’ve used it a bit longer. 

Don’t Get Distracted

This morning I nearly came a-cropper as I had let my mind wander while running. There I was considering why the local middle school locked all their trucks and vehicles inside a high fenced area, when I suddenly found myself plummeting toward the floor.

For some unknown reason this closed off road has speed bumps on it and I just wasn’t paying any attention. Thankfully I have quick reflexes and managed to save myself before my face hit the concrete. But it certainly got my focus back to the running.

On Monday I ran a new record on the 6.2 mile run/walk with my friend: 1:00:34. We are so close to breaking the one hour mark now. The 5:2 intervals work well and we are running straight-through a couple of them on the return leg of the run. We are running about 17 minutes without a break at that point which is pretty good.

Medium Distance Run (Slacking)

After a long week of relatively short runs, and a hectic party schedule, I was a little more than reluctant to hit the streets this morning.

My son woke me at 5:30 and so we just hung out until the others woke up, then I sneaked off back to bed for a crafty catch up sleep.

Once I eventually got up at nine, I sat under a blanket and just enjoyed being lazy. This is very unlike me but felt great…

Then at 10:30 I just got up and went out. I managed a relatively slow 9 miles at a recovery pace of around 8:30. I think, strictly speaking, my training schedule called for fifteen miles, but it felt like my legs haven’t recovered from the last marathon yet, so I eased off.

It was crazily warm today. 65F when I went out of run. I sweated off 3.5 pounds. This is nuts for December! Normally it would be in the 20s. It has been like this for most of the week, too.

It was announced this week that the official marathon photos were available online and were free; this was a nice surprise. In a couple of them I look like I was about to keel over, but there were a few good ones.

The first of this set looks pretty good. The ear warmers look a bit dorky but they are so nice when it is cold out. I normally take them off after a couple of miles and just clip them around my arm. Very handy.

I also reached the end of life (400 miles) on one of my pairs of Brooks Glycerine 13s but have a new (cheap) pair of Glycerine 12s waiting in the wings thanks to some foresight with the Black Friday sales. The wear pattern shows a slight heal drag but they are generally quite evenly worn. This is in keeping with my neutral shoes and foot strike. I did start to find that I was beginning to feel the road through the soles by the end of their life, so I’m looking forward to the new pair.

Strictly speaking this week should be the start of my two week taper to the next marathon; my traditional and unofficial Boxing Day marathon. We’ll see how that goes… If anyone wants to run part of it with me they are more than welcome to come along… 🙂

Recovery Week

This week was supposed to be a slow one for recovering after the marathon at the weekend.  

 Recovering from this. I was asked to pose with this. And this. All courtesy of my new friends in the Marathon Maniacs. 

Recovery? Not so much as it turns out. 

I did take Sunday off and my legs were very tight. I couldn’t easily transition from standing to sitting which makes bathroom trips interesting and requires you to hold onto hand rails; I guess that is how old age feels. 

Monday morning I went out and did my standard 6.2 miles with my friend. He was happy that I was tired and stiff and running more slowly than usual. We stuck with our 5 min run, 2 min walk structure and I managed to get through it. 

This really helped my legs feel better and by Monday afternoon all aches and pains had passed. 

Tuesday I couldn’t get out in the morning so did a quick four miler at lunch time. 

Wednesday was another four miler just to keep my legs turning over. 

Today (Thursday) I ran a slow eight and a half miler under the stars, chasing deer and startling birds that weren’t expecting me to appear out of the dark. 

So, I guess it is fair to say, I’m through the recovery. My plan is to start preparations for my annual Boxing Day marathon run from home. This means it is almost time to start the taper. 

I also went through and counted the miles for November: 193.5! This is more than fifty miles greater than my previous best. Marathon training certainly pushes your distances. 

My total for the year is now at just over 1200 miles. 

Poor Memory

**The title of this piece seems even more relevant now as I just stumbled upon this article sitting in my draft box. I thought I’d posted this 23 days ago, but clearly not. 

Therefore, forgive the time/date references but I thought I should still put this out there. 

After last week’s 18 mile long run, I had it in my head that today’s would somehow be shorter. I recalled past plans dropping back to 12-15 miles after the 18… But I thought I should do a quick check of the Higdon intermediate training plan. It turns out that I have a poor memory. 

Bugger! I think that sums it up nicely. Turns out I was expect to do 20 miles today. Lucky I checked. <grumble>. 

I had not eaten well on the day before (as we were visiting Dutch Wonderland with the kiddies) so I wasn’t loaded up with carbs and raring to go. However, that’s what the plan called for so I set that as a target in the back of my mind, with the understanding that if I wasn’t feeling it then I’d simply change my plan.  

 The Entrance to Dutch Wonderland: the most laid back young kid-friendly amusement park we’ve been to.

Next I found that the temperature had suddenly decided to drop massively. It was 38F this morning. Brrr. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I broke out a warmer long sleeved running top and some tights… Note that the tights probably weren’t necessary but I was feeling cold on the inside so I opted for them.

Geared up and psyched up I headed out to my usual spot on the Perkiomen Trail. A 20 miler would mean running from my start point all the way to the end at the edge of Green Lane park. 

The trail was stunning today, full of autumnal colours and smells but you have to keep an eye out for the fallen nuts from some of the larger trees; it would be very easy to step on these and twist an ankle. 

I got passed by a speedy chap who looked like he was also doing a long run… He was significantly faster than me. It made me feel quite down for a moment and then I decided, what the hell, it doesn’t matter as I’m really racing myself, not anyone else. So, I carried on and gave him a cheery wave as he passed me on his return leg.  

 How I initially felt as I was passed. Picture by: The Oatmeal. 

There were quite a few runners out, although they were mainly standing around rather than actually running each time I saw them. Also, there were many cyclists out and I suspect there was an event on for them. I think, perhaps it is a ride that I’ve done in the past.

As I drew closer to the end of the run, the temps crept up into the higher 50s and I found the last mile quite tough. I was convinced that I was slowing down but my tracker was telling me otherwise. I finished the 20.18 mile run (because the 0.18 extra counts even more!) with a pace of 7:59. Not too bad given my total lack of preparation or planning for a run of that magnitude. 

Now to get on with the day and with enjoying consuming all of those lovely extra calories I’ve earned. My wife is busy in the kitchen right now making cookies with my daughter… To misquote The Princess Bride: “There will be crumbs tonight!”. 

 Crumbs, Inigo. Calm down, mate. Have a cookie…


I believe this term isn’t really used in the U.S., but I found myself shouting it out this morning as a newspaper delivery car threw down a paper a few feet in front of me as they whizzed by me. How rude!

It certainly made me jump, I can tell you. But after I’d shouted out I had the thought that it probably didn’t mean anything to him. Oh, well. 

Yesterday I ran with my friend doing our run/walk combo and got another course record for our Betzwood route; 1:04:50. 29 secs faster than our previous best. 

Today my wife decided to take a day off running so I seized the opportunity to get an extra one in. A quick 6.8 miler just to help my legs recover from the weekend. 

In other news, I entered my timing info from the Beat the Blerch race into a timing calculator and it puts my estimated marathon time at 3:27… That’s just two minutes over the Boston Qualifing (BQ) time for my next age group (come November). This is good news. A little work to do but not too much!